COMPLETELY LOST in Blender - The Untutorial Part 2

Last time, my mind had become completely blank in the face of the Blender interface. Now, we shall dive on into the murky depths of the abyss known as Blender.

First, I do a search on Google and I find a tutorial with a reassuring sounding title.

Going 3D with Blender: Very first steps

That's a very reassuring title. It says to me, DON'T PANIC! I like that, so I switch screens and begin reading.

However, since I am impatient, I can't actually take the time to read through this tutorial, so I just look at the pictures. I scan it, and I realize that it doesn't tell me how to load a reference image to the background. So I go back to Google, and I try to find the tutorial that I read before opening Blender the first time. I find a title that I'd seen before. I think this is it.

Blender Noob to Pro (a wikibook) - It says...

Now we open Blender and start a new project. Delete the default cube. Before you start tracing the face, you need to set the face as the background image. To do this, click 'view', then 'Background Image'. A box should pop up with only one button in it (Use Background Image), click it. Now some settings appear, we're only interested in one of them for this tutorial. Click the small button that looks kind of like a feather pen (the first one under the 'use background image' button). From there, select the picture you want to trace. Like this: Background Selection...

Ahhh... yes, got ya!

I have an image that I want to load into the background, so I look on the bottom bar and find the menu item 'view', and then I push the background image button. Up pops a square with one button that says "Use background image". The feather pen is actually a file icon. It does sorta look like a feather now that you mention it.

I follow instructions and voilĂ , a greyish version of my picture shows up.

Now I know from previous experience that it will disappear as soon as I change viewpoint, so I close the background image box and wonder what to do next.

Oh, now I remember! The first thing that you do is make a cube. You go to the top line and click on the add menu and then choose mesh>cube.

It doesn't look much different. Now the cube that was pink is black. Wasn't I supposed to delete the cube? I don't know. I click on the square and it moves around with my cursor. I un-click to drop it back down. I didn't want to do that. That's OK, I'll just undo. Where is undo?

In other programs it's in edit>undo. Where is edit? There is something called 'edit mode'. I click on it and the mode menu comes up. Oops I guess that's the wrong button to press.

Isn't there some kind of Baby Blender interface that I can start with?

Undo is not in the view menu, or in the select menu, or in the file menu. I click Help, and then hotkey and mouse action reference. It says things like 'IPO select next keyframe'. What is an IPO?Under F-keys it says that Shift-F9 is the OOP window.

OOP? that sounds like OOPS which is what happened to me. I'll push it, maybe an undo window will pop up.

Something pops up that says Scene. I guess this is not the undo menu then. I click on the arrow next to scene and see a list of objects:World, Camera, Cube, Cube.001, andLamp.

The Oop menu

Cube.001 is highlighted, so I guess that is the new cube that I've made.But what I really want is to get back to the screen with the cubes in it. I notice that now the little icon at the bottom of this screen looks different. Now it looks like a list. Maybe if I switch back to the little grid icon I had before, I can see my cube again. I click on the icon and get options including 3D view. When I click on it my cuby image comes back with my background photo. Good!

I'll assume that there is no undo for now. I have, on the previous menu selected the first cube. Now, how to make it bigger. I click on the background and then move my center button mouse wheel and the background picture disappears.

EEEK! I'm lost in blender!

What is going on? I think that I see the whole world, but how do I get down to it?Isn't there some kind of Baby Blender interface that I can start with? Scannning over the tutorials, I find places where other users didn't know what they were doing either. Some of them learned later but... is that what this program has to be like?

The help menu scares me. It has headings that go to submenus. I click on the one that says getting started. It doesn't do anything. The headings have icons that look like python programs. Do I need to run ANOTHER program in order to get help for THIS program? I wonder if I remembered to install python on this computer.

Feeling dejected, I press shift-f9 and go back to the OOP menu. I can't see anything but the list of objects is familiar. I need some time to cool down.

Restful isn't it?

CONTINUED

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With thanks to Perth Counselling to keep FSM editors sane.